I just bought this sailboat, an 11′ Super Snark. I’ve wanted to learn to sail for a few years—this seemed like the perfect sailboat with which to start. It is purportedly unsinkable and very stable. The ABS clad EPS foam hull certainly seems very durable and indeed, could not possibly sink even if completely swamped.
I had it out for the first time this weekend and had a fantastic time. This was my very first time sailing, but I found the boat quite easy to handle – the basic sailing instructions I’ve read were enough to get me underway with this small sailboat. With a little ‘effort’ I was even able to capsize the Super Snark and shortly thereafter learn how easy it is to right this boat. I’ll save the details of that story for another time.
After the first trip out I realized that all the wood parts – rudder, tiller, keel, transom – needed some attention. The marine plywood rudder was delaminating, and though it would be simple to cut a new one, I thought it might be worthwhile to repair it. After gluing and clamping the rudder in several places, I sanded and varnished all of the wood parts.
I also plan on painting the outside of the hull – navy blue. I’ll keep the white gunwhale and medium blue bumper as is. This motif should work nicely with then existing blue-white-blue-white striped sail and equally well with an Egyptian cotton colored sail I’d like to have.
Super Snark Links
- CastleCraft Repair Tips for Snark Sailboats
- CastleCraft Super Snark Sailboat Parts
- Snark Sailboats Group on Yahoo! – Membership required
- How to Sail a Boat – wikiHow
[This article is short and to the point. I think it’s worth a read if you are new to sailing.]
- Grog’s Boating Knots Index [Note: start with the figure eight and bowline knots.]
Want a New Snark Sailboat?
I was surprised to learn that Snark sailboats are still being made – not only the Super Snark, but also the Sea Skimmer, Sunflower, and others. If you don’t have the time or inclination to repair an older boat, a shiny new Snark is still a relatively affordable way to start sailing. Here are a few links to the best prices available through Amazon.
Rigging the Super Snark
More Snark Upgrades
Splash Deck – I am planning to sail in the bay at Stone Harbor, New Jersey in late September. It can get choppy there – and while the summer boat traffic will have diminished I have yet to deal with the wake of a decent sized powerboat. The splash deck covers the area of the otherwise open hull from the mast step forward to the bow, shedding water the boat might take on from chop and wake. Coming over the bow. I am nearing completion of a wooden splash deck and I am excited about my design and the results. I will post photos and detail soon.
Boom Vang – Provide downward tension on the boom for better sail shape and to minimize ‘bounce’. Use the free end of the halyard through the gooseneck of the boom and back to the cleat.
Traveller – create a bridle using a short length of line between the two screw eyes on the inside of the transom, leaving enough slack in the line to come up and over the tiller with clearance. Thread a small block on the bridle before fastening the line on the eyes. Then the tack end of the main sheet is secured to the dead eye of the block allowing the tack to travel along the bridle.
Tiller Tamer – Loop a short bungee cord around the tiller and connect to the screw eyes on the inside of the transom. This should exert just enoungh tension on the tiller to bring the rudder back to center when the tiller is released.
Daggerboard Retainer – attach on or two screw eyes into a small plywood plate on the stern end of the daggerboard trunk. From these eyes, run a bungee cord around the aft edge of the daggerboard. Pulling on the bungee allows the daggerboard to be raised or lowered – releasing it should hold the board in any vertical position.
Kickup Rudder – Design and make a two-piece rudder to replace the old one-piece rudder, allowing for easy beaching of the sailboat.